Oneta 84

(A copy and paste from four years ago – instead of eighty-one, I’m now eighty-five and Alayna is twenty-six.)

The browning album crackled from the weight of the fading pictures as my grandchildren turned the page of the wonderland that used to be.  Alayna said to Pete, “That used to be Grandma.”

“No, Alayna, you’re wrong,” I thought. “That girl was never me.  I wore her clothes and combed her hair, but she never cuddled my babies, pursued a career, or licked the seal of an envelope containing a final payment. She never climbed my mountains, nor stumbled in my valleys.  She had never faced my temptations, nor experienced my victories.  That girl was never grandma, but I was once that girl.”

Remembering the incident leaves me thinking about why I blog.  One of the reasons I want to become a blogger is because of the opportunity I have to get acquainted with young people.  (And at my age, even sixty is young people!)  I was raised at a time and in a community where there was almost no “generational” divide.  The generations did things together: family reunions, singing rallies, church dinners, baseball, ice skating.  Schools often had several ages and grades in the same room.  We even went places in the same car!  I miss that.  I love young people.  I have walked in their shoes.  I believe I have experiences which would interest them, and I know they have experiences I would like to know about.  Most honestly I can see and hear things so I know some things but I don’t understand the reasons why.  Maybe I can find out some whys by reading blogs.

A recent story.  I was talking to a little girl who I believe had taken a stick of gum and lied about it, but she denied it vehemently.  I told her of my experience when I was about her age.  I had taken a stick of gum out of my aunt’s sewing machine drawer.  As far as I know no one ever knew it, but it made me feel so guilty that I still remember it.  She still didn’t confess and maybe she didn’t take the gum.  But if she did I wanted her to understand I had been where she was.

Embarrassed?  I’ve been there.  Feel ugly?  I’ve been there.  Frantic with sorrow?  Up all night with sick babies?  Worried?  Tight budget?  Dejected in love?  Loved and been loved?  Scared to speak in public?  Need tires but no money?  I’ve been there.

Back to the photograph.  I was that girl.  I experienced what that girl experienced.  But I knew nothing of the things to come that would make me “me.”  Salty tears and delicious laughter, the birth of my child and the death of my mother, the dirge of night and the delight of dawn, the pain of aging and the hope of the eternal. Yes, I was that little girl, but she was never me. And, my precious Alayna, I once walked in the shoes of a twenty-two year old, facing decisions that would determine the actions that would make me an eighty-one year old “me,” with a beautiful, delightful, intelligent, and loving grand-daughter whom I love very much, who someday will be her own “me”.  May you be blessed, my darling, now and forever.

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haircut 1

This barber keeps overhead cost to a minimum, but his clientele seem not to care.  Requirement for his business was a towel. a stool, and clippers.  Since the tonsorial service was free, older grandson sits patiently while Papa Hayes sees an opportune moment to catch the toddler on the move and slow him down enough to give him a trim.  Does the unseen mom care?  Not a whit.  She has two or three other sons who benefit from Papa’s tonsorial care.

Reminds me of another relative, father of three sons, who said, “If I ever need money, I give all the boys a haircut.  Right there I’ve saved three dollars each so I’m up nine bucks.”  You know that was a while ago if haircuts were three dollars each!

My dad, Pete, also gave free haircuts. The tonsorial setting was in the well house where there was no mirror, so some of the nephews were a little hesitant knowing their mischievous uncle.  He never left one in need however.   😀  And he likely never thought of himself as a tonsorial artist!  But he knew he was a good barber.  



M-W’s Word of the Day <>



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You claim you want peace and sweet release,

from the things that are holding you down.

But you hang on to bad habits

and they increase like rabbits.

With the upper-hand, they laugh like clowns.

They dangle you, jangle you, and plague you with frowns.

They know you’re all talk and you’ll never walk.

They have you zapped and you’ll stay entrapped

‘til you pull your silly self from their grasp.


Image: Pixabay

Challenge by Girlie on the Edge  Six sentence challenge using the word “release.”

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Let’s chat about downsizing.   I invited some friends over for lunch last week.  As I set the table for three, I considered downsizing where it really hurts.  Sixty years ago having lunch together meant husbands and kids also.  Fourteen of us in those days.  When downsizing means getting rid of knick-knacks, bed rolls, and cooking pots – not so bad.  My two friends had been widowed and one lost a child – that’s painful. We did, howevet, have a great time reminiscing.  We all have fair health and lots to live for.  Grandchildren for one thing; great grandchildren for another.


Did I mention great grandchildren?  Oh, what an opportunity to show you how my Jadalyn grows.  LOL  Hold it, stay right there.  Let me tell you….

Jadalyn was eleven last week.  Delightfully changing – child to pre-teen, becoming my fierce Rummikub foe.   She wins about twice as many as I win.  I love this picture of my changing child.  Note her ability to take care of her baby doll – do you see the bottle in the doll’s mouth being held in place by Jadalyn’s chin while she sips country tea.  You can see by her eyes, that she thinks she has grandma (me) in a spot.  But I did win this one!

In the background there are four little siblings for whom Jadalyn gets to use the skills she hones with her baby doll.  One of them is Addalyn.

addy june 19

Addy is five.  The most independent of the girls when it comes to play time.  She does take her turn at playing house or school, but she is more likely to be found cutting paper and coloring.  Here she shows one of her coloring papers.  She is pretty good at finding free color pages to print and color.  (But another sibling generally manages the computer use.)  Addy is the dress wearer.  One finds her more often in dresses than shorts or jeans.

June bugs

Another thing I have to tell you is that I was wrong about hating June bugs without cause.  See here  I thought June bugs were beneficial but I hated them anyway.  (That was the lesson I was writing about.)  BUT, I was WRONG.  They are harmful.  So I have cause – I just didn’t know why!  I guess it was a learned trait taught to me by Farmer Dad and Gardener Mom.  They knew how much damage June bugs can do!  Oh, well, enough about June bugs!


UPDATE about my Presidential run.  (here and here)  That Presidential helicopter sure looks like fun.  I’m tempted but I’ve been watching and I’m beginning to think I just don’t have what the Democrats want.  GRANTED I have what they need, for instance the Constitution, the Bible, Law and Order, Boundaries, Capitalism, Right to Life, ….   I haven’t completely given up, however.  Bear with me.  Joe waited a long time and he is doing pretty well by staying out of sight.  Maybe I can win by staying out of sight.  But it hard to flount my diversity status if I stay out of sight.  I can only raise money if I can convince the “fatties” of the land that I can remake America’s standard of beauty.

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June bugs

Butterflies I favor;

Hummingbirds bring me pleasure;

June bugs I detest.


For those who look for a lesson/moral in my writings – there is one here!  At least for me.  Got it?


Image:  (GERMANY OUT) Zwei Feldmaikaefer Melolontha auf gruenem Eichenlaub beim Fressen (Photo by Harald Langeullstein bild via Getty Images)

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father's day 2

HAVE YOU NOTICED Mark 3:34-35? When Jesus said those who do God’s will “will be my brother, sister, and mother.”  He did not say anyone else would be his father.  No one could take the place of his Father. We may have step-fathers, god-fathers, or any other substitute for our earthly father. But no one can take the place of Jesus’s Father.

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tom and flo 2

This father’s day salute goes to Rev. Thomas Hayes, my father-in-law and spiritual leader for many years of my life. To my blogging friends who did not know him, a bit of an introduction. One of Tom’s daughters, an English girl named May, married an American soldier during World War II. That began the immigration of the Hayes family to America. After May, came her father, Thomas Hayes. Later they brought Flo, Tom’s wife, with two small children, Bobby and Esther. While they were locating in America (Mississippi), another son (Samuel) was in the English Merchant Marines. When he was discharged, he came to America. Shortly after that, Sam came to Bible school in Oklahoma City, where he and I met and married. That’s a short run down of how Thomas Hayes became father-in-law to this Colorado native, a small town country girl.  (How I got here another story.)

I was not very sophisticated; in fact, I was very naive and inexperienced in “diversity” of cultures; however, I did indeed have some stereotypes which I applied to the English.

One was that the husbands could be quite controlling; the other was that they did not have a sense of humor. Wrong on number one; wrong on number two. I don’t believe there ever were two husbands more considerate of wives than Tom and Sam. And regarding number two, my English family was way ahead of me on humor! They loved play on words. Perhaps that’s where I get my love of puns. In this family was an Aunt Fanny. At one point Momma Flo said, upon seeing a person who resembled Aunt Fanny, “Tom, doesn’t she look just like your Fanny.” Needless to say that set the family to roaring with laughter!

Look with me at a few incidents which will help you meet Thomas Hayes, my father-in-law.
A Bible scholar, fluent in quoting scriptures, builder and pastor of churches.
An accordion player and singer, how many of my family and friends remember “Gabriel, Blow Your Trumpet” and “Now don’t you weep for me when I’m gone, for I won’t have to leave here alone, and when I hear the last trumpet sound…My feet won’t stay on the ground. …”
He looked for the coming of Jesus, believing he would never need the “undertaker.” He was waiting for the “uppertaker.” In the end, his body was indeed laid in the earth, but only after uppertaker took him!
He trusted fully in Jesus for his healing, and lived to over one hundred years in that belief.  Any pills he had had to be smuggled into his system without his knowledge! Sort of like wrapping a doggie vitamin in a piece of bacon! And speaking of bacon—his age and health sure belied the harm of bacon and eggs!
Even in the eighties and nineties, he continued mowing lawns and trimming hedges.
He taught me something about cooking. I didn’t even know people cooked pork and beans until the day I served them straight from the can!  When he saw those beans, I knew I would never do that again – in his presence.

But my most everlasting loving moment was a day when he stood behind Flo’s chair long after her memory was basically gone, he put his hands on her shoulders and said, “This is the wife of my youth.” And I can hear in my mind, “And I will love her until death do us part.”

Thank you, Thomas Hayes, for the large place you carved in my heart.

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tea kettle

Feeling chilly Fran put the teapot on and went back to her warm bed.

Six years ago Jim bought the whistling teapot.   They lay in bed many mornings fitting words to the rhythm of its whistle.   Silly things, kiddie things.  Sometimes serious things.

“The sun is up; time to get up.”

“The rooster crows; the north wind blows.”

Or laughingly – “Here we lay a’hummin’; and Heaven’s train is comin’.”

Three years, sixteen days ago Heaven’s train came for Jim.

Fran smiled, reminiscing his endearing words:  “You’re my love, my turtle dove.”

Will she hear him in the whistle today?


Rochelle’s challenge is to write a 100 word selection using photo prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT © Valerie J. Barrett






Posted in aging, death, loneliness, long marriage, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 34 Comments


fish upstream
Swimming against the flow!

I’m swimming upstream today so I’ll hurry before I lose my gumption. Here goes: Lewis B. Smedes said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” This philosophy is highly promoted these days on placards, from the pulpit, by the counselors, about everywhere. Sounds so good.

But I’m thinking we should forgive because Jesus said to do so. Bible says, “…forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph. 4:32). Did Jesus forgive me to set HIMSELF free? No, he forgave me to set ME free! Smedes quote puts the cart before the horse.

The freedom of the forgiver is a result; it should not be the motivation. Sort of like a financial adviser telling you to pay your tithes so God will give back to you. Wrong motivation! Do it because God said to. Pay your tithes – achieve financial security; forgive – be set free. Again, those are results, not proper motivation.

When we love enough to forgive because Jesus forgave us just because he loved us, maybe the Holy Spirit will make forgiveness an easier thing to do. Don’t be manipulated by human rewards – whether from placards, pulpit, or psychologists! I had to apologize to a friend because of my snit in response to an issue. I hope she forgives me because she loves me.  If she does we will both be free.

I understand that some things are much more egregious than a snit!  Hard things – murder, rape, betrayal.  The following teaching helped me through a very bad time.  When Jesus said to forgive seventy times seven times, he might have been saying to forgive THE SAME INCIDENT 490 times. That is so true. Some things you have to just say “I forgive __ regarding that.” Next time it comes to mind, say the same thing. Next time, the same. Few if any incidents can you willingly speak forgiveness 490 times and have it still hound you! Personally, I believe the Holy Spirit will help you long before 49 times let alone 490! 



Image:  Trout swimming upstream in Cheat River. (Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

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Ma made me a velvet dress.

Of all the dresses, mine is best.

West of where the Mississippi flows.

Smilin’ perty, my face glows.

It’s black with all those fancy twirls

Made me the envy of the local girls.

When I dance, the full skirt swirls.

I have a pink ribbon in my hair.

Boys push and shove to get in line.

And I watch to see which ones are fair

Some guys are really not worth my time.

Pa says I’ll know which one is best,

By the way he treats all the rest.

I want a beau who can pass this test.


Prompt from Thursday Inspiration 7.  Word prompt: ribbon.  Write poem, flash fiction, or other.

Image from Pixabay.

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